Home Personal Finance Don’t Subsidize My Life–Optimize Your Expenses

Don’t Subsidize My Life–Optimize Your Expenses

by My Journey to Millions

I was having a conversation with a colleague the other day and somehow we got to the topic of certain expenses in our life.  When I found out he pays about 50% more than I do for our cable, phone and internet package I was shocked.  More than shocked I came up with a probably very unoriginal theory.  Those overpaying on monthly expenses are subsidizing my lifestyle.

Don’t Subsidize My Life By Overpaying When You Don’t Have to

Anytime I complain to a company about lowering my bill they are doing it at the expense of their profit margin, as such, they are forced to overcharge someone else.  Don’t be that someone else.

Take a simple example from my college days.  The Wife had a few sorority sisters who were bartenders and since The Wife had to court all of this, the girls would not charge me. In an effort to balance out their register they would overcharge other people at the bar or would go a little lighter on their drinks so the bottles wouldn’t empty as quickly.

Well guess what? your cable company is the bartender.  If they are providing me with premium service at “I bitch too much” prices then they have to offset me as a customer.  Don’t be that guy.

This applies to various monthly commodity type products:

Are you that guy? When was the last time you tried to lower your monthly nut? 

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Marie 05/07/2012 - 10:29 am

Definitely an interesting way to look at it — are there any ways you’re subsidizing someone else?

Evan 05/18/2012 - 2:19 pm

Absolutely, but being that I am trying to buy a house I can’t optimize my insurances (car, house, etc.) just yet as I don’t want to get hit with a hard credit pull

Kasi 05/07/2012 - 11:56 am

My husband just talked to our cable company a few weeks ago and negotiated a lower price for us. I’m going to have him call AT&T about our cell phone next; I don’t want us to be “those guys” 😉

Evan 05/18/2012 - 2:20 pm

That’s fantastic, Kasi! What was the new deal you got?

Brian 05/07/2012 - 1:30 pm

I do my best to lower any bills I can. I had having to do the same song and dance every year with the cable company, but we both know I can choose someone else for a lower amount for a year…

Evan 05/18/2012 - 2:23 pm

That is extremely frustrating Brian! I do it all the time, it is like we both know I am going to win so lets just save us both time.

Once a cable operator tried to even guilt me! I called up and said I’d like to re-up the promotion. He informed me that I agreed to pay the normal price after the promotion. I asked if I was in a contract (knowing I wasn’t). He told me I don’t honor my agreements. I threatened to leave one last time and he lowered the amount.

I remember thinking, what a Dick!

C The Writer 05/07/2012 - 2:29 pm

I don’t have a monthly nut. I have weekly nuts. The people who shop at Walmart.

Shawanda 05/07/2012 - 3:49 pm

Yep. That sounds like me. But I won’t stop asking for discounts. If that’s the case, are your colleagues who make less money than you subsidizing your income? First, I look out for me. Second, I look out for my family.

I remember I told a friend that I asked my doctors for free sample prescriptions and she said that since I have health insurance, I should let the free samples go to people who don’t have insurance. Maybe. But I’m not a fan of random charity.

If I want to give something to someone, I try to make a rational decision as to where the money should go. I won’t overpay in hopes that someone less fortunate (or shyer) than me will benefit from my passivity.

Jenna 05/07/2012 - 6:03 pm

Just taking the time to call and ask always seems worth it.

Zero Passive Income 05/08/2012 - 10:42 am

That’s an easy mindset to get into as a small business or sole praticioner. Especially when you’re looking at your profit margins every day. Thanks for the reminder to not be “that guy”.

Lance 05/08/2012 - 6:51 pm

You definitely aren’t subsidizing me. I got a $20 credit for 6 months for noticing they upped one of the fees $1. I just asked if they could give me some sort of credit and that is what they came back with. If you haven’t done so already I urge you to call your cable company and ask for a credit!

Julie 05/08/2012 - 7:19 pm

I agree! I called my cable and internet provider a few years ago to complain about the rise in price – and they immediately gave me 20% off of my bill for a full year. Now I phone once a year to have my 20% discount renewed =)

Belinda 05/18/2012 - 7:08 am

Wow-20% is big Julie!

Ah I remember an instant where our phone connection was not okay and so I called the company and they gave us a refund through monthly deductions on fees. It’s totally different from Julie’s 20%.

The best example would be taxation. Some pays more for the benefit of others. Some government projects are concentrated in certain areas to provide services to the few.

Best regards to all,


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